How Much Money Does Tourism Bring the Hudson Valley?

We break down the dollars behind the top attractions in the riverside region.


The Clinton wedding, the filming of television shows and movies in the Hudson Valley, and other similar one-off news events certainly help draw interest in the region and make an economic impact.

But what about our great, permanent attractions? We take a quick look at what they contribute to the area.

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— Colleges —

   $4.8 BILLION  

According to The Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York, more than 51,100 students enroll each year at independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities in the Mid-Hudson Valley. These campuses – from Nyack College and St. Thomas Aquinas in Rockland County to Marist, Vassar, and Bard in Dutchess County – directly employ approximately 12,500 people and contribute $4.8 billion to the New York State economy annually. That doesn’t even include schools in the public SUNY system such as New Paltz, Purchase, and the community colleges.


Thompson Memorial Library, Vassar College. Photo by Tamar M. Thibodeau / Vassar College


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— Walkway Over the Hudson —


According to a 2017 update of a 2011 study, Walkway Over the Hudson provided a $24 million boost to the Mid-Hudson region – particularly in Poughkeepsie and Highland, the two towns connected by the span. That resulted in 383 new jobs, $9.4 million in new wages, and $779,000 in new tax revenues annually for Dutchess and Ulster counties.


— Hyde Park State Historic Sites —


One of the most intense clusters of state and national historic sites in New York is in Hyde Park, with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Home and the FDR Presidential Library; Val-Kill Cottage (home of the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site); the Cornelius Vanderbilt historic home; Mills-Norrie State Park; and Staatsburgh State Historic Site. Throw in the Walkway just a few miles south of the FDR home and the Samuel Morse Locust Grove Estate, and these incredible places at a $65 million impact just on the Dutchess County economy alone.


— Dutchess County Fair —

$23.4 MILLION  

Camoin Associates, based just outside Albany, did a study for the Dutchess County Agricultural Society and New York State Association of Agricultural Fairs five years ago to determine the economic impact of the Dutchess County Fair – the biggest fair in the state besides the State Fair in Syracuse. The 2013 study showed the DC Fair averaged $23.41 million in spending from outside the county and is directly responsible for 410 jobs amounting to $11 million in earnings.

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Delectable eats at the Dutchess County Fair / Photo by Dave Zucker


— Dutchess County Tourism —

$601.5 MILLION

According to the 2017 Oxford Economics report on tourism in the state of New York, that’s the economic impact of tourism in Dutchess County. It marks a 5.9 percent increase from 2016 and a 25 percent increase from 2013. It’s also the eighth consecutive year that tourism spending in the area has risen. Following close behind is Ulster County, which saw a $33 million hike in spending over the past year to $587 million in 2017.

Related: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s New Film Brings Revenue to the Valley

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